With her icy '80s synthpop sound, theatrically shrill vocals, and asymmetrically moussed flaming coif, 21-year-old androgyne Elly Jackson (aka one-half of Brit electro duo La Roux) may have been one of the most interesting new singers to come out of Britain last year, but she seemed an unlikely Stateside pop star alongside the current chart's assortment of blatantly sexy pop vamps (Beyonce, Katy, Ke$ha, et al). And with a sound as unapologetically retro and Anglo as an '80s new wave cover band (comparisons to Yaz, the Eurythmics, and Altered Images have abounded), U.S. success for Elly and her La Roux partner, Ben Langmaid, seemed especially far-fetched.
But incredibly, a year after their self-titled debut album (one of 2009's best releases) came out, that's exactly what has happened. La Roux's breakthrough single, "Bulletproof," recently hit number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 6 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart, and number 1 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart (it charted high on 20 other international charts, too). And with other irresistible electropop club bangers on their debut disc--"In For The Kill," "Quicksand," "I'm Not Your Toy"--it's certain that La Roux will be no one-hit wonder.
A strong case for La Roux's staying power can be made by these "Down The Front" sessions, recorded last year in a private London studio. The clips showcase the duo in an intimate, acoustic setting, proving that even when their synths are switched off, they can totally switch their magic on.
See them go in for the kill, unplugged-style over on the Yahoo! Maximum Performance Live Music Blog